Should gay marriage be on the democratic party platform?

Author: Teresa Welsh
Publication: U.S. News
Publication Date: August 1st, 2012

Click here to read the full story at U.S. News 

The Democratic National Committee announced Monday that gay marriage would officially become part of the party's platform for the first time. The 15 member drafting committee approved gay marriage's inclusion in a unanimous vote in Minneapolis over the weekend.

Gay marriage has become more widely accepted among Democrats and across the country, with President Barack Obama declaring his support for it in May. His administration has supported other causes of the LGBT community, including the repeal of the "don't ask, don't tell" policy banning gays from openly serving in the military, and has declined to defend the Defense of Marriage Act in court.

Freedom to Marry National Campaign Director Marc Solomon testified in favor of gay marriage's inclusion on the platform, and said the committee made the right choice:

We are grateful for the Platform Drafting Committee's unanimous vote to include the freedom to marry in its draft of the Democratic Party platform ... As I testified to the Committee on Friday, the Democratic Party has a noble history of fighting for the human and civil rights of all Americans. We are proud that the Committee is including language that will ensure the Party is leading the way forward in supporting marriage for loving and committed same-sex couples and their families.

[See a collection of political cartoons on gay marriage.]

Many liberal members of the Democratic Party support gay marriage, but several groups who traditionally vote Democratic do not. Both Latinos and African-Americans tend to vote Democratic, but also tend to be more socially conservative and opposed to gay marriage. Its official inclusion as a part of the party's platform may alienate some of these voters.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney opposes same-sex marriage.

The platform will continue to be drafted and presented to the full platform committee in Detroit on August 10-12. It will then be presented to the Democratic National Committee as a whole at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in September.